‘The Whistlers’ Review: A Delightful Romanian Twist on ‘Ocean’s 11’ — Cannes

‘The Whistlers’ Review: A Delightful Romanian Twist on ‘Ocean’s 11’ — Cannes
Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu makes playful movies with a lot to say. From the chatty historical inquiries of his debut “12:08 East of Bucharest” to the deadpan musings on the language of justice in “Police, Adjective” to the ethics of filmmaking in “When Evening Falls in Bucharest or Metabolism,” Porumboiu has managed to mine compelling ideas out of slow-burn narrative techniques loaded with unpredictability. With 2015’s heartwarming father-son story “The Treasure” — in which the roving narrative builds to sentimental payoff — he started to enrich his style with more approachable methods. That proclivity grows even stronger with his entertaining noir “The Whistlers,” a polished mashup of genre motifs that suggests what might happen if the “Ocean’s 11” gang assembled on the Canary Islands.

That’s right: One of the directors tied to the so-called Romanian New Wave of the aughts, when dreary masterpieces like “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and Two Days” and “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
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